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    » 03/07/2011, 00.00

    CHINA

    Police and helicopters to stop "jasmine revolution”. Beijing denies unrest



    Tens of thousands of police have patrol squares and malls for fear of riots. Dozens of journalists arrested. The foreign minister denies that there is an emergency and that journalists were beaten. Ye Xiaowen and media campaign against attempt to imitate the Arab countries. The appeal to Protestant Christians to join the protest.

    Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Tens of thousands of policemen, security guards, civil guards, volunteers and even helicopters are patrolling main squares across the country to thwart any sign of a "jasmine revolution". In recent days, anonymous calls on the internet had called on Chinese to express their discontent towards the corruption and problems of government and society yesterday the third Sunday of the month, by taking a "walk" in designated places.

    Apparently no-one that could have been defined a "demonstrator" was seen: the squares and shopping centres were full as usual with people and passers-by. But the police, uniformed and plainclothes, established control points everywhere, fearing above all journalists and foreigners, demanding their passports and banning them from doing interviews with passers-by. Dozens of foreign journalists, for the second consecutive Sunday, were detained in Beijing and Shanghai.

    In recent days, appeal to university students had also appeared on websites to join the simple protests, called "jasmine rallies”. In fact yesterday police patrols and security agents combed the university areas in Beijing, Shanghai and other cities.

    In Shenzhen, thousands of policemen and security guards remained outside the McDonald's I in Huaqianbei, the place designated for the "walk", and other hundreds of police in riot gear waited in trucks and buses. In Guangzhou, the police filmed passersby.

    Despite the deployment of these forces, the foreign minister, Yang Jiechi denied that there is any tension in China. In a press conference held today on the sidelines of the National People's Congress, he told reporters that "I have not noticed any sign of tension [in China]." He also denied that foreign journalists have been beaten by police. Last Sunday, February 27, a reporter for Bloomberg was punched and kicked by plainclothes police in the area of Wangfujing. " There is no such issue of Chinese police officers beating foreign journalists" said Yang.

    Despite assurances from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Party newspapers continue to accuse the " A handful of people with ulterior motives at home and abroad have been plotting against China's rise and are trying to cripple the country's development by stirring up unrest".

    On the eve of the opening of the NPC, even Ye Xiaowen, Party secretary at the Central Institute of socialism, criticized foreigners seeking to "create chaos and trying to subvert the Chinese government." Ye said that the attempt to imitate the "jasmine revolution" of Arab countries in China is "a joke", but authorities must not let their guard down.

    Ye Xiaowen was director of religious affairs 14 years. A few days ago, on Facebook, an appeal invited Protestant Christians to join the "jasmine rallies”, at least in prayer to be held at two in the afternoon every Sunday.

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    See also

    03/03/2009 CHINA
    Jia Qinling: Maintaining order and social stability in Tibet
    The Political Consultative Conference is underway, and the National People's Congress meets in two days. The Chinese leader calls for maintaining the "harmonious society," urging that workers not be fired and their pay not be withheld in the face of a deepening economic crisis. Repression of the Tibetans has been approved. Beijing is under tighter police control than it was during the Olympics.

    03/03/2011 CHINA
    Wei Jingsheng: Waiting for China’s Jasmine Revolution
    The struggle for democracy, be it Chinese or Arabic, must properly evaluate the strength of the dictators and the movement to overturn them. Democracy and human rights in China, are songs sung only by an elite: the need to mobilize the masses without dealing with the tyrants. The analysis of the great Chinese dissident.

    10/06/2009 CHINA
    Chinese courts now tasked to prevent citizens’ protests
    China’s Supreme People’s Court orders lower courts to prevent disputes from degenerating into street protests. For experts, this decision is a sign the country’s leadership is increasingly fearful of spreading protests and plans to control them through the party’s total control.

    02/03/2011 TIBET - CHINA
    Tibetan leader calls for non-violent response to China’s provocation on Dalai Lama
    Samdhong Rinpoche, prime minister of Tibetan government in exile, calls on Tibetans not to fall into the trap of the recent Chinese slander against the Dalai Lama, but to continue to assert their identity in a non-violent way. The Jasmine revolt: China is ready to crush any protests with violence.

    17/03/2011 SYRIA
    Democracy protests in Damascus and Aleppo, the first in decades
    Hundreds of people gathered through a Facebook appeal, marched against the regime. At least six arrests and clashes with pro-government demonstrators. A video of the event shows a rare example of dissent in the country.



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